Ighalo, Pepe lead Man United, Arsenal into FA Cup semifinals

Manchester United’s Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP)

Even though domestic cup competition took centre stage in England and the German Bundesliga came to a conclusion this past weekend, there was plenty to smile about around Africa as the continent’s players continued to impress for their clubs across Europe. Patson Daka ended a mini goal drought while 35-year-old Papiss Cisse showed he still has what it takes to keep playing at the top level.


Arsenal’s record-signing Nicolas Pepe of Côte d’Ivoire scored a first-half penalty as the Gunners edged Sheffield United 2-1 on Sunday to advance to the FA Cup semifinals where they will face Manchester City.

On Saturday, Nigeria’s Odion Igaho opened the scoring for Manchester United who edged Norwich City 2-1 after extra time to advance to the FA Cup semifinals where they will face Chelsea.


Malian midfielder Amadou Haidara set up the first of Timo Werner’s two goals as RB Leipzig ended the German Bundesliga with a 2-1 win against Augsburg. Meanwhile, Nigerian Antony Ujah scored once and set up another goal while compatriot Suleiman Abdullahi was also on target as Union Berlin thumped relegated Fortuna Dusseldorf 3-0.


Côte d’Ivoire midfielder Jeremie Boga came off the bench to score twice as Sassuolo came from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 against Hellas Verona at home while compatriot Seko Fofana set up one of Udinese’s goals in a 3-2 defeat at home to fourth-placed Atalanta. Another Ivoirian, Gervinho, opened the scoring for Parma but his side eventually fell to a 2-1 home defeat against Inter Milan.

Gambian striker Musa Barrow also came off the bench in the second half to score a penalty in Bologna’s 2-1 win against relegation-threatened Sampdoria.


Moroccan defender Zouhair Feddal set up Sergio Canales for the first of Real Betis’ two goals in a 4-2 loss away to Levante.


Zambian forward Patson Daka scored his first goal in four matches for Austrian champions RB Salzburg in a 3-0 win against Hartberg. Daka, who now has 24 league goals, netted a hat-trick against the same opponents earlier in the month. Substitute George Davies of Sierra Leone grabbed a brace as St. Polten twice came from behind to beat Austria Vienna 5-2.


Guinea Bissau’s Jorge Intima and Mavis Tchibota of Congo were on target as DR Congo defender Jordan Ikoko set up another goal as Ludogorets hammered Lokomotiv Plovdiv 6-1 in the Parva Liga.


Guinea midfielder Kamso Mara scored a late winner in Slovan Liberec’s 2-1 win against Banik Ostrava while Nigerian Michael Ugwu set up the winning goal in a 2-1 win for Bohemians 1905 against Slovacko.


Danish Superliga leaders Midtjylland extended their lead to 11 points with a 2-1 win against FC Copenhagen in which Guinean midfielder Sory Kaba opened the scoring.


Morocco’s Youseff El Arabi and Guinea’s Mady Camara were both on target as Olympiacos maintained its 13-point lead at the top of the Super League with a 2-1 win against AEK Athens. Nigerian Abiola Dauda’s first-half equaliser saw Panetolikis draw 1-1 at home to Asteras Tripolis.


Ghana’s Francis Kyeremeh was one of five different goal scorers as second-placed Zalgiris hammered Riteriai 7-0 in Lithuania’s A Lyga.


Nigerian Leke James scored for joint league leaders Molde in a 4-1 win against Stabaek in Norway’s Eliteserien while compatriot Shuaibu Lalle Ibrahim scored for Mjondalen in a 2-1 home defeat against Kristiansund. However, another Nigerian, Jack Ipalibo saw red for a professional foul as his side Stromsgodset drew 1-1 against Aalesund while Ghana’s Gilbert Koomson found the net for Brann in a 2-1 defeat against Rosenborg.


Nigerian striker Moses Ogbu scored an injury-time winner as Mjallby beat Hammarby 2-1 to register their first win of the season in Sweden’s Allsvenskan. Ogbu’s compatriot Kadiri Jordan Attah also scored in Ostersunds 4-2 loss to Norrkoping.


Young Boys remained joint top of the table following a 6-0 win against Xamax in which Cameroon forward Jean Pierre Nsame scored twice and DR Congo striker Elia Meshack scored once. In another game, DR Congo forward Ridge Musny was on target for the third consecutive game for bottom-of-the-table FC Thun who lost 3-2 away to joint league leaders St. Gallen.


Ghana’s Bernard Mensah penalty helped struggling Kayserispor stun third-placed Sivasspor 2-0 while Olarenwaju Kayode of Nigeria also scored in Gaziantep’s 1-1 draw against Antalyaspor in the Turkish Super Lig.

Elsewhere, Senegal’s Papiss Cisse scored twice as Alanyaspor was held to a 3-3 draw by Goztepe while Burundian Youssouf Ndayishimiye found the net in Yeni Malatyaspor’s 3-2 loss away to Fenerbahce.

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